Yes, You Can Make Money From That Car Sitting in Your Garage. Here's How
If you have a spare car or one that you don't use much, consider renting it out online to gig drivers or tourists.
Katie TeagueWriter II
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
ExpertisePersonal Finance: Social Security and taxes
High inflation this year has raised the prices for car buyers and renters. According to Kelley Blue Book data, prices on new cars are up 12% since last year, and the average cost of a new automobile is now almost $50,000. Car rentals are even worse -- CBS News reports that the cost of renting a car is up 48% over the past year.
On a good note, if you own a vehicle, the high prices for buying and renting cars puts a potential side hustle right in your garage. You can make some extra money with online services that let you rent out your car to other drivers when you're not using it.
Renting your car online could be a quick way to make extra money on the side, and you really don't have to do anything extra in your day-to-day life. Just make sure it's not your primary car that you need to use daily for commuting to work or other essential trips.
We'll tell you how you can get started renting out your car, and about how much money you can make doing it. For additional ways to make extra cash, check out six more side hustles.
Which websites let you rent out your car?
Renting out your car sort of works like renting houses or apartments on Airbnb. Turo, HyreCar, Getaround and Avail are currently the biggest online rental services where you can list your vehicle.
Turo: Started as RelayRides in Boston in 2010, this peer-to-peer car-sharing company is now available in all 50 states. If someone's visiting your area and needs a car for the week or weekend, your car could be an option if you list it on Turo.
You can opt for your renter to pick up your car from a designated spot or you can bring it to them. You'll get paid between 60% to 90% of the trip cost (the rest goes to Turo), depending on the protection plan you choose.
HyreCar: With HyreCar, car owners rent out their vehicles to rideshare and delivery drivers who need cars for their gigs. For instance, if someone doesn't have a qualifying vehicle to be an Uber driver, they could rent your car for the weekend.
When someone requests your car, HyreCar sends you an application you then need to approve. Your earnings for the rental depend on the car protection plan you choose. You can receive between 75% to 85% commission with HyreCar.
Getaround: Like Turo, Getaround is a peer-to-peer car-sharing company. Note that Getaround charges a 40% commission on all trips booked, and you'll have to pay a one-time fee of $99 to get started. You'll also be charged a monthly $20 connection fee for your car. Those fees are to connect your car to Getaround Connect to allow for contactless handoff.
Avail: With Avail, you drop your car off at an airport and the car-sharing company takes care of the rest. Once a vehicle is rented, owners get a fixed amount each day, between $20 and $25 depending on the vehicle.
Note that the requirements for renting out your vehicle vary by each company.
What if a renter wrecks or damages your car?
Before drivers can rent your vehicle online, they'll need to go through a background check. Drivers can't use cash, so a card is always on file in case anything goes wrong with your car.
All car-sharing companies offer several different insurance policies in case of accidents. Once you get your car back, be sure to check it thoroughly to make sure there's no damage -- for instance, a dent that wasn't there before or if there is a smell of cigarette smoke.
How much money can you make renting your car online?
It won't replace your full-time salary, but you can still make a good chunk of change on the side. How much you earn depends on your location, the vehicle you own and the demand for rental cars.
Here are a few different Turo estimates that vary by vehicle and price range:
A vehicle valued at $12,512 with loan payments at $2,519 per year could earn you $7,009 annually.
A vehicle valued at $31,853 with loan payments of $6,414 per year could earn you $10,857 annually.
A vehicle valued at $68,351 with loan payments of $13,762 per year could earn you $21,453 annually.
Note that each company pays different amounts, so look for the best service that suits your car.
If your car is already paid off, you'll earn more money renting your car since you won't be making loan payments. Also note that you set your own prices for your rental car for most of these services, and those prices change throughout the year depending on demand -- for instance, during summer travel season, more people may be in need of rental cars.